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ENTERTAINMENT
January 9, 2014 | By Joe Flint
After four years and tens of millions of dollars spent on developing a new channel, WWE Corp. ultimately decided to bet on itself. Its new network, unveiled Wednesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas , is not a traditional channel that will be distributed by pay-TV distributors including cable and satellite companies. Instead, it will be an online network that WWE fans can watch if they shell out $9.99 per month. By going the so-called over-the-top or OTT route, WWE is bypassing launching a network that would likely have been a slam dunk with distributors.
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 9, 2014 | By Joe Flint
Satellite broadcaster DirecTV is less than thrilled with the WWE's plans to launch an online network and said it will have to rethink its relationship with the programmer and whether it will continue to offer its pay-per-view specials. As part of the WWE's online network, which will launch next month, its 12 pay-per-view specials including the hugely popular "Wrestlemania" will be made available to subscribers at a price tag of $9.99 a month. Traditional pay-TV distributors including DirecTV have for years counted on WWE's pay-per-view specials as a solid revenue source.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 8, 2014 | By Joe Flint
Wrestling impresario Vince McMahon is going over the top. No, that's not a new move he's going to display on WWE's TV shows "Friday Night Smackdown" or "Monday Night Raw. " It's the technological platform that the WWE Corp. is using to launch its long-in-the-works network. Rather than create a traditional channel that would be distributed to potential viewers via cable and satellite operators, the WWE Network will be streamed over the Internet, a method that is known in the entertainment industry as over the top, or OTT.  The network, which will launch Feb. 24, will cost $9.99 a month.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 7, 2014 | By Meg James
Former Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa has joined Spanish-language broadcaster Estrella TV as a senior advisor to help the 4-year-old television network gain traction. The network, based in Burbank, is banking on Villaraigosa to give it greater visibility and pull in additional advertising dollars to better compete with established giants, including Univision Communications and NBCUniversal's Telemundo. Estrella TV becomes the latest employer of Villaraigosa since he departed City Hall last summer.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 6, 2014 | By Joe Flint
One coach tells his players, "rip their freaking heads off and let them bleed. " Another coach smacks a player in the head while telling him, "don't give me that soft crap. " The next season of HBO's "Hard Knocks?" An ESPN documentary on the famed defense of the 1985 Chicago Bears? Nope. This is the Esquire Network's new show "Friday Night Tykes," a documentary about the Texas Youth Football Assn., whose players are under the age of 10. VIDEO: Winter TV preview 2014 The coaches say things that might make even Mike Ditka cringe.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 4, 2014 | By Meg James
Discovery Communications Inc. has extended Chief Executive David Zaslav's lucrative employment agreement for another six years, fortifying the leadership of the cable television programming company after a period of sustained growth. The deal announced Friday modifies how Zaslav's annual compensation is calculated to provide him with substantial stock holdings in the company. He will receive a base salary and bonus targets of about $10 million a year in the early years of the agreement.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 3, 2014 | By Greg Braxton
"Being Mary Jane" is much more than just the latest entry on BET's prime-time lineup. It's a milestone. Debuting six months after its movie-length pilot attracted more than 4 million viewers, "Being Mary Jane," which premieres Tuesday starring Gabrielle Union as the popular host on a national cable news network, is the first original scripted drama developed for BET. Executives are calling "Being Mary Jane" a game changer for the network, which...
BUSINESS
January 2, 2014 | By Shan Li
Texas billionaire T. Boone Pickens thinks his long bet on natural gas is finally paying off. The legendary oilman has long declared it his mission to wean America off its addiction to foreign oil. He co-founded an Orange County company that builds natural gas stations around the country and sank billions into wind turbines. Pickens' gambles have not always paid off. He lost an estimated $150 million of his personal fortune in wind farming, and admits that he was a couple of decades early into natural gas. But he thinks the time has come for natural gas to shake up the energy industry.
BUSINESS
January 2, 2014 | By Chris O'Brien
The accident that left Ryan Williams paralyzed from the neck down could have ended his promising career as a robotics researcher. Recovering at his parents' home in southwest Virginia, with limited mobility, there was no way he could return to USC full time to complete his engineering graduate studies. But from his study nearly 2,500 miles away, Williams was able to complete his course work and participate in classes as if he were right there on the USC campus. Now the 31-year-old roboticist, already internationally recognized for his research into undersea robots, is on the cusp of receiving his doctorate this spring.
WORLD
January 1, 2014 | By Tom Kington
ROME - In a verdant valley east of Rome, Fabrizio Baldi admires a forgotten stretch of a two-tier Roman aqueduct, a stunning example of the emperor Hadrian's 2nd century drive to divert water from rural springs to his ever-thirstier capital. But Baldi, 36, is less interested in the graceful arches than in where the aqueduct's span ends, hidden in a wooded slope across a stream, halfway up the side of the valley. Scrambling through thick brambles, he comes across a large hole in the ground that appears to be the start of a tunnel.
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